CyberWolf: The Whelping

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Morning Coffee

“So rookie, how do you like being a cop in Seattle?”

The question jarred me out of a pensive reverie. I had been covertly observing the surroundings of the Starbucks where Jake had said we would take our coffee break. I was 23 years old and fresh out of the academy on Fifth Avenue. The Uniform still felt stiff and awkward on my nervous frame. I sipped nervously on my latte as I answered. “It’s great Sir. I like helping people and being a cop In Seattle is a great place to do it. I am a friendly person. I like to try to help people in whatever way I can.”

Jake sipped his coffee and gave me a calculative evaluative stare, “Is that the only reason rookie?” I looked into his coal black eyes that were boring into me and seeking the truth. “No, it’s a family tradition.”

A fog of grief clouded my heart and soul. Again I heard the bang and smelled the acerbic tang of Cordite as it inflamed my nostrils. I heard the awful thud of my father‘s head as it hit the ground at pioneer square. I heard his final death rattle and smelled blood on his breath. I saw his eyes fix in space as he went to his final reward. I heard my sixteen year old self loose a scream that could rend Heaven in half. It was that moment that set me on the path to law enforcement. I could still hear the twenty-one gun salute from dad’s funeral.

“Look alive Rookie! Check out the door. I looked toward the door as it opened to admit trouble. A huge hybrid of man and Simbano entered the shop and dominated the room. “Simbano”, Jake harshly whispered.

“Who?”, I asked.

“Chimera’s right hand man.”

Chimera, I knew that name. He was the leader of the Animen. Scientists had cracked the human Genome in the early half of the twenty- first century. They’d cured many diseases including the common cold using that knowledge. That’s a good thing. But, there are always folks who want to stir the pot and push the envelope. The year twenty-twenty saw many great leaps forward in scientific advancement. That was when a scientist named Connor O’Shannon invented a way to regrow lost limbs by splicing reptile DNA into Human DNA. Connor’s discovery was brilliant and promised to change the lives of millions. He was murdered before he could perfect his formula. All of his work was taken from the scene.

Unfortunately, these things usually don’t end tidily. Within a year of O’shannon’s death, a bizarre group of human-animal hybrids calling themselves the Animen, began appearing on the scene. Hybrids with the strength, reflexes, and cunning of animals, yet with the reason and intellects of human beings. A dangerous combination to be sure.

It is said that superior ability breeds superior ambition. A few of these Animen got a hold of O’Shannon’s work and perfected his formula, which they named Kubdalisha. Because the name is derived from the old Swahili word meaning transform, it was thought that the Animen originated somewhere in Africa. There was no hard evidence to support that supposition.

The leader of the Animen was thought to be someone named Chimera, possibly named after the mythological creature with attributes from every creature in the animal kingdom. That was also merely supposition at this point.

A low growl, like that of a contented lion, sounded from Sinbano’s lips and brought me back to the situation at hand. Simbano, his tawny, fur covered muscles, glistened harshly under the indoor light of the coffee shop. All eyes were focused on the Animan, and fear settled on the coffee shop like a wet blanket.

Simbano placed an order.” Kubdilasha, make it a double.” My ears twitched like a nervous spasm as I heard someone mutter, “Mutant Mocha” caustically under their breath. If Simbano heard the slur and wanted to do something about it there’d be very little Jake, or I could do. Fortunately, I knew the Barista on duty. She was my next door neighbor, Jessica. She wanted to be an investigative reporter for the Seattle branch of the holonet. She was working as a Barista to make ends meet while trying to get her foot in the door at the local news network. I sent her a warning look, one that said, keep calm and fill his order, Jessica.

“J-Just a moment sir.” Jessica stammered.

“My Lord,” Simbano corrected in a quiet, ominous voice.

“M-m-my Lord” she all but squeaked.

My hand found my pistol butt of its own volition, the superiority the Animen demonstrated toward humans who did not possess the Kubdilasha irked me and got on my nerves.

Jake whispered at me harshly, “No rookie.”

Take it easy Jack. My nerves calmed as I heard my father’s disembodied voice. Thanks dad, I thought.

I focused my attention on Jessica and her customer. Simbano was growing impatient. Jessica pressed a button and a scanner rose from the floor under Simbano’s feet. It was theorized that O’shannon’s formula worked like any other liquid. Eventually it has to leave the body, or so the CSI at the station were saying, hence the need for the scanner. Emitting a barely detectable hum, the scanner calculated the amount of Kubdilasha formula in Simbano’s body, read his optimal levels and put a small amount of formula in his drink to maintain those levels. Of course all of this was just supposition and theory. We needed evidence in order to act or we could do more harm than good. It was so frustrating. We needed a way to test our theories so we could use them to formulate plans. Animen were beginning to subjugate homo-sapiens humans and calling themselves homo-superior. Paranoia filled the air like smoke from a boiling pot. It was a bad situation that had to change soon, or there would be hell to pay. Simbano’s eyes met mine as he casually sipped his Mocha with his back to Jessica and the serving counter. He chuckled and made no attempt to hide the contemptuous smile currently embracing his cup. Jake favored me with a cold, stony glare and shook his head no. Simbano lounged against the serving counter, a steel chest plate drank in the light from the artificial lamps, as if he was robbing them of their very energy. His presence dimmed the light. He drained his cup, licked his whiskers, ran his hands through his expertly manicured mane and twitched his tail at me as he went through the door. I hissed at my enemy’s departing back, “Your time shall come mutant.”

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